Texas Governor: "It's time to open Texas 100%." No mask in Texas!
Texas will lift the mask, relax anti-covid restrictions, allow companies to resume full capacity, including open 100% capacity restaurants and cafes, Gov. Greg Abbott said. "It's time to open Texas 100%," the Republican said bbc.com.
Texas is the largest US state to cancel the mask. Abbott has faced criticism from his party over the move, which was imposed in July last year. But the administration of US President Joe Biden has made it clear that restrictions on coronavirus are still needed.
No mask in Texas
The announcement came from Texas because similar rules have been lifted in other states, including Michigan, Louisiana and Mississippi, which no longer require the wearing of masks.
At the same time, the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 has increased people's confidence in a rapid return to pre-pandemic life. On Tuesday, President Biden said the United States is on track to have enough vaccines for every adult in the country by the end of May.
However, the wave of reopening and lifting restrictions has hampered relations with the Biden administration and its senior health officials, who have reacted in dismay to the relaxation of coronavirus measures at a precarious time in the pandemic.
Covid-19 data show that although infections and deaths have declined in recent weeks, they are still high compared to other countries.
In total, the United States has more than 28 million cases of COVID-19 and 516.000 Covid-19-related deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, issued an executive order annulling most of the anti-covid measures previously imposed during the pandemic. It will take effect on March 10.
Shortly after Mr. Abbott's announcement, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he would do the same in an even shorter amount of time.
Health experts have warned that the pandemic is far from over and the number of COVID-19 cases could rise if measures are relaxed too soon.
Some figures on the effect of COVID-19 in the USA
- According to research from Johns Hopkins University, 28,7 million people were reported infected with the new coronavirus in the United States, almost double the 2nd place - India (11 million) and the 3rd place - Brazil (10,5 million).
- But the United States ranks ninth in terms of deaths per 100.000 inhabitants, behind countries such as the United Kingdom and Italy.
- At least 90.000 Americans are expected to die from the virus by June 1, according to an Institute projection. By the end of May, the virus will kill about 500 Americans a day - down from about 2.000 now.
- The number of hospitalized due to COVID-19 has decreased sharply since January 2021.
- The growing number of new strains, which could trigger new outbreaks, remains a global concern in the United States.